Former Aussie tennis player Sam Groth has taken a dig at Bernard Tomic and claimed the local crowd won’t be supporting him against in-form star Dennis Shapavolov on Wednesday.
Tomic, who hasn’t always endeared himself to the Aussie public after some lacklustre performances throughout his fleeting career, will be up against Canadian Shapavolov in Round 2 of the Australian Open.
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The occasion marks the first time Tomic has progressed beyond the first round at his home slam since 2017.
But Groth, who is commentating at the Australian Open, doesn’t think Tomic will be able to draw on the crowds support.
Australians Alexei Popyrin and Thanasai Kokkinakis were both helped in their epic matches from the parochial home support.
However, Groth said Shapovalov will ‘absolutely dismantle’ Tomic and the Aussie won’t be receiving much from the crowd.
“They’re not coming out to support Bernard,” he said on Channel Nine.
“He’s done too much to turn the Australian public against him.”
Tomic is $7.50 outsider on SportsBet to win against the Canadian.
Shapovalov laughs off Tomic question
Following his five-set belter against Jannick Sinner, Shapovalov was trying to be polite when asked about upcoming Australian Open opponent Tomic, but even he couldn’t help but crack a smile at the Melbourne crowd’s telling reaction to his name being brought up.
But when asked about Tomic, he cracked a smile when he was cut off by the crowds reaction.
“Of course it’s better to play two and a half sets but I’m going to try to recover as much as possible and get ready,” Shapovalov said, adding that he thought Tomic was ‘no joke’ before he was cut off by the crowd’s reaction to that suggestion.
Tomic’s professional career stalled after reaching the top 20 as recently as 2017, with the Queensland-born player now ranked a lowly 233rd.
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